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Andrea Tacchi was born in Florence, Italy in 1956 into a deeply-rooted Florentine family with a rich artisan heritage in both jewelry-making and wood-working. At a young age, he took interest in creating musical instruments, building his first guitar at age 15. While at university studying mechanical engineering, he met and began an apprenticeship with Argentinian luthier Ricardo Brané, ultimately leaving university to pursue a career as a professional luthier. After Brané’s death, Tacchi traveled extensively to Spain, England, France, and the United States to study with the top masters of the day; in 1981 he went to Spain to meet with Paulino Bernabe Sr., José Ramírez III and Francisco & Gabriel Fleta to get their critical opinions and advice on his development as a guitar maker. He also traveled twice to England to consult with José Romanillos. The most important of these meetings however took place over several trips throughout the 1980s to France where he was able to receive advice and encouragement from both Robert Bouchet and Daniel Friederich in their workshops. To read more about Tacchi’s experiences in Paris click here.
When Scott Tennant came by to play some of the Cleveland Collection guitars late last year he more or less fell in love with the 1969 Ramirez that Segovia had owned and played from 1969 to 1980. When he told us he was about to record a CD of Segovia’s compositions we all had a Eureka moment and realized he had to record the CD using this guitar. The CD will be produced by the Guitar CoOp in Brazil (which is headed by our friend Marcelo Kayath) but we will record it here in Santa Monica.
Our good friend Felipe Conde posted a list of his top 10 classical guitar CDs, and we instantly disagreed with everything, then realized there were some great CDs there, then thought of better ones, then realized those couldn’t really be the best, right? I mean you have to have some Segovia, but which one? Any box set? Anyway, there’s no answer, of course, but we’ve been having some fun with it, so here are Felipe Conde’s choices, followed by David Collett’s. Let us know how wrong we all are and which 10 CDs you’d take to a desert island. Forever.
Posted August 21, 2015
Update: More is being revealed about this interesting new guitar project, including the nature of their multimedia platform, recordings including both new releases and historical re-releases, books, website, sheet music, videos, apps and more. In addition to the artists already mentioned previously, others signed up to participate in the project include Fabio Zanon and the Duo Siqueira Lima. See here for Jorge Caballero’s release.
Classical guitarist Marcelo Kayath recently introduced us to the great Brazilian maestro Edson Lopes, whom we’d never heard of before. What a uniquely gifted and musical personality of great artistic depth that many of us have been missing out on… until now. Read on for Edson Lopes’ personal story with the guitar and Kayath’s testimony about this guitarist we think of as a hidden treasure.
This week guitarist Connie Sheu stopped by the showroom to record some guitars for us. Connie recently released her new CD ‘The Woman’s Voice’, which features pieces by many great women composers including Emilia Giuliani-Guglielmi (Mauro’s daughter), Ida Presti, Dale Kavanagh and Annette Kruisbrink – you can read a review of the CD on the ClassicalGuitar.org blog and you can buy her CD here. Some of you will also know Connie as the director of communications for GFA. Here she is playing Sofia Gubaidulina’s Serenade on a 1997 Greg Smallman and Dale Kavanagh’s Prelude #2 on a 1961 Ignacio Fleta.
Ignacio Fleta was born in Huesa del Común, in the province of Teruel (although many biographies mistakenly have him born in Huesca), Spain on July 31st, 1897, into a family of cabinet-makers – an auspicious beginning for one destined to become a fine instrument builder. In childhood, he apparently showed great aptitude for music, as there are reports that by the age of 8 he was able to play both the bandurria and guitar proficiently. Formal instrument-making studies began at the age of 13, when he left home for Barcelona with his 2 older brothers, Manuel and Bienvenido. He began studying violin, cello and bass-viol construction, largely in the French tradition, from a series of established masters, including Benito Jaume, Etienne Maire and Philippe Le Duc from France. Principles of this training remained with Fleta over the entire course of his life, and his guitars were always constructed using the ‘violin’ method, which utilizes the technique of attaching the neck to the completed soundbox, as opposed to the ‘Spanish’ method, where the neck is attached to the sides at the outset of construction.
I thought we’d follow up last week’s post of Marcelo Kayath’s article on the current state of guitars with luthier Sebastian Stenzel’s “From a Guitar Maker’s Notes: A Plea For The Traditional Construction of Classical Guitar Soundboards.” Stenzel has an affinity for physics, and he seems to come at this from as much a scientific point of view as an aesthetic one.